Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Go Fly A Kite

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Several weeks ago Zachariah, one of my children, came to visit with his family. While Zach and his bride went kayaking, I took their daughter Charlotte to the island to fly our kite.

I bought the kite many years ago when Zach was just a baby, and would take my oldest son Eric kite flying. We had great fun and great conversation, as he and I would fly the kite while Zach would sit in his infant carrier under the shade of a tree.

As Zach grew, I would take him kite flying. He too had great fun controlling the kite, making if dive and soar. Great memories and great relationship building.

Because kite flying had become an important rite of passage with my boys, when my daughter Elisha Michelle had grown enough, I knew it was time to expose her to the joys of para-foil aerodynamics.

The first time we went, we headed to a park with a huge field, stopping at a bagel shop on the way for a couple of bagels-to-go (my Jewish heritage). I was excited: the sun was bright, the sky was clear, and there was a wonderful breeze blowing.

We proceeded to launch the kite, letting the string play out while the updrafts and currents caught. I showed her how to reel in some of the string to catch the right current, instructed her on thermal lift, and sought to encourage her as she worked the kite.

She kept eyeing the adjacent playground, and finally handed me the string and told me she wanted to go play on the swings. Thinking I could keep her interest I said, "We'll eat our bagels now'" hoping she would want to return to the kite when we finished.

We ate the bagels, then my daughter began to walk to the playground. I gathered the kite and string, put it in my car, and spent the next hour playing on the playground with my daughter.

Now, many years later when she recalls the experience, she says that "Dad bought us bagels".

My granddaughter Charlotte commented to her Mom after our kite flying outing: "We flew the kite for a little while, then spent a long time walking along the shore counting dead jellyfish." I have a feeling the dead jellyfish will be the main memory for her.

But that's OK! Whether it be bagels or dead jellyfish it's a memory, and memories are a big part of the bond that connects relationships.

Question: What are you doing to create memories and build bonds in your relationships? Share your thoughts below in comments.

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